Burial-places in Cambridge.
George S. Saunders, Chairman of the Cambridge Cemetery Commissioners.
As early as 1634-35, one John Pratt was granted two acres of land, described as situated ‘By the old Burying Place without the common pales.’ This deed indicates the first land used for burials, which was located, as nearly as can be ascertained, on the northerly corner of the present Ash and Brattle streets, outside of the stockade which was erected in 1632. Rev. Abiel Holmes, D. D., wrote in the year 1800, ‘that £ 60 was levied 3d February, 1632, towards making a Palisado about the New Towne. This was actually made, and the fosse which was then dug is in some places visible to this day. It enclosed above one thousand acres.’ This in a measure protected the little town from Indians and wild beasts. This burial-place was discontinued when the present ancient ground on the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Garden Street was set apart for burials, and ordered ‘paled in,’ early in 1635-36. One hundred years later, 1735, the town, with the assistance of the college, built a substantial stone wall in the front, on ‘Menotomy Road,’1 at a cost of £ 150. The College Records read: ‘Whereas there is a good stone wall erected round the Burying Place in Cambridge, and whereas there has been a regard to the College in building so good and handsome a wall ’
Go where the ancient pathway guides,
See where our sires laid down
Their smiling babes, their cherished brides,
The patriarchs of the town;
Hast thou a tear for buried love?
A sigh for transient power?
All that a century left above,
Go,—read it in an hour!